[londonsocialforum2003] Fwd: EU vs Democracy?

IandRgb mm at iniref.org
Thu Nov 25 10:14:24 GMT 2010

Here's an example of what can be done with citizen-led democracy 

""The referendum aims for more tax justice: first between high and low 
income and assets, because the superrich will no longer be privileged 
compared to the rest of the population," said the Socialist Party. ....  
Proponents have therefore forced a referendum under the country's unique 
direct democracy 
system, for the population to decide if income of 250,000 francs and 
above should be levied a minimum of 22 percent in taxes."

Mark Barrett wrote:
> I don't normally go for these, as real democracy is deeper than 
> referenda powers but this seems like a sensible use of e-petitioning. 
> Presumably Avaaz, with its big e-following could become very powerful 
> with this ECI mechanism in place...
> Begin forwarded message:
>> *From: *Luis Morago - Avaaz.org <http://avaaz.org/> <avaaz at avaaz.org 
>> <mailto:avaaz at avaaz.org>>
>> *Date: *24 November 2010 12:59:26 GMT
>> *To: *"m.edwards at ucl.ac.uk <mailto:m.edwards at ucl.ac.uk>" 
>> <m.edwards at ucl.ac.uk <mailto:m.edwards at ucl.ac.uk>>
>> *Subject: **EU vs Democracy?*
>> Dear friends,
>> <http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_citizens_initiative/?cl=840782654&v=7623>
>> Right now, the EU is deciding the fate of *a ground-breaking new 
>> democratic reform* that could change the way Europe is run, and 
>> counter the influence of powerful vested interests. But some 
>> officials are trying to pass *rules that would undermine citizen 
>> participation. Sign the petition* to protect our rights to shape EU 
>> policies that affect us all:
>> Sign the petition! 
>> <http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_citizens_initiative/?cl=840782654&v=7623>
>> Right now behind closed doors, European officials are deciding the 
>> fate of *a ground-breaking democratic reform* that could change EU 
>> politics, up to now dominated by an elite of governments, powerful 
>> companies and lobbyists.
>> *The European Citizens' Initiative* (ECI) requires the EU commission 
>> to act when it receives a request from over 1 million citizens. It's 
>> a radical innovation in EU governance, but it *has some officials 
>> scared. They're trying to bury the ECI in a mountain of red tape* - 
>> throwing up damaging barriers to citizens' participation.
>> Several members of the European Parliament are passionately fighting 
>> to protect the ECI. *We urgently need a massive citizen outcry* to 
>> weigh in on their side and shame the blocking governments and 
>> officials into creating the direct democracy that citizens want. Sign 
>> the petition below -- *MEP Gerald Häfner, who is at the forefront of 
>> the negotiations, will present our petition in every Brussels back 
>> room meeting* where it can make a difference:
>> http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_citizens_initiative/?vl 
>> <http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_citizens_initiative/?cl=840782654&v=7623>
>> For decades the European Union has been accused of suffering from 
>> overly complex, undemocratic decision-making processes that make EU 
>> politics inaccessible to citizens. But now, the ECI, introduced by 
>> the Lisbon Treaty last year, *could be a real turning point in 
>> efforts to address the EU's democratic deficit*.
>> Some member states, who fear greater citizen participation in the 
>> legislative process, are *insisting that each ECI signer should 
>> provide the number of their ID card or passport number* - a 
>> requirement that would radically decrease participation. Independent 
>> data protection bodies in Europe say ID numbers are not necessary for 
>> verifying signers -- in fact gathering this data is *intrusive and 
>> can lead to identity fraud*.
>> The European Commission has also proposed a short timeline and 
>> unnecessary country quotas for signatures that would de facto exclude 
>> many citizens' groups from using the ECI. The Parliament has 
>> countered these with citizen friendly requirements -- a 18-month 
>> deadline for signature collection, and country quotas in just one 
>> fifth of all EU Member States.
>> Avaaz is already using the ECI to improve European democracy -- 
>> we've gathered over 1 million signers and are submitting *the first 
>> ever ECI* to freeze all genetically modified crops from entering 
>> Europe. But this and every other future initiative we build could be 
>> crippled if the officials manage to railroad through their stringent 
>> conditions.
>> Negotiations are at the critical last phase -- let's make the ECI 
>> work, and make European governance work for us. *Sign the petition 
>> now, and forward this message to everyone*:
>> http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_citizens_initiative/?vl 
>> <http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_citizens_initiative/?cl=840782654&v=7623>
> .

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